Prettier than a pie, galettes
Editor’s note: Living in the Colorado high country is pure joy. Baking in it isn’t. High altitude makes cookies spread in the pan, cakes fall, and few baked goods turn out as they do at sea level. This column presents recipes and tips to make baking in the mountains successful.You do have to roll dough to make this apple and dried cherry gallette (I know, many cooks hate using a rolling pin). But, you don’t have to roll it into a perfect shape and – the best part – you don’t have to transfer the rolled dough to a pan, which is when most dough disasters happen. You roll the dough on parchment paper and leave it there – simple.Prebaking the apples solves a problem that a number of you have identified in e-mails to me: fruit that is still undercooked when a crust is fully baked. Apple and dried cherry galetteGalette dough:114 cups of all-purpose flour1 teaspoon sugar12 teaspoon salt8 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter
11/4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar6 tablespoons of ice waterFilling:1/4) cup of dried cherries2 tablespoons of brandy or orange juice4 medium baking apples – 11/2 pounds or slightly less (I use golden delicious.)1/2 cup of granulated sugar1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt 1 tablespoon of unsalted butterGlaze:A tablespoon or two of milkA tablespoon or more of sugarMake the galette dough: Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl until combined. Slice the cold butter into at least 16 small pieces and cut it in to the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two forks. Work it in until the dough is crumbly, like course meal. Mix the cider vinegar and water in a small bowl and gradually add it to the dough, stirring and tossing it with a fork until the dough comes together. You can also make the dough in a food processor. Follow the same steps, but cut the cold butter into only eight pieces.Turn the dough out of the bowl, pat it into a disc about one inch thick and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the wrapped dough for at least an hour or up to a day. Combine the dried cherries and the brandy or orange juice in a small bowl. Make sure all the cherries are covered by the liquid and let them stand for at least half an hour so they soften.Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. Let it soften if it is too cold to roll. Place it on a piece of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap that is the same size. Roll the dough, between the parchment and plastic wrap, to a circle about 13-14 inches in diameter. The shape can be irregular and edges can be ragged, but you may also trim them to a perfect circle if you like a neater look. Slide the dough, between the two papers, on to a baking pan and put it in the freezer or refrigerator.Peel, core and cut the apples into slices about one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch thick. Put them in a microwavable dish, add two tablespoons of water and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for two to three minutes, just until slightly softened. Take the plastic wrap off and set the dish aside for the apples to cool a bit. Drain the water from the dish.Combine the drained apples, the dried cherries and the brandy/orange juice. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add this to the apples and cherries and toss until they are evenly coated.Remove the dough from the refrigerator or freezer. Take off the plastic wrap that is covering the top but leave the dough on the parchment. If the dough is very cold, let it sit until it softens enough that it won’t crack when you fold it over the filling. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a two-to-three inch border uncovered. Leave any liquid that may be at the bottom of the bowl that held the filling. Mound the filling slightly higher in the center. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the filling, leaving the center uncovered. The dough will pleat itself as you lift it; you can help by cupping your hands around the edge of the crust and pressing in gently to mold the dough over the filling. Be careful not to tear the dough; you don’t want the filling to leak out while it bakes. Glaze the galette by brushing the milk all over the exposed crust and sprinkling it with a tablespoon or two of sugar. Transfer the galette, on the parchment paper and baking sheet, to the oven and bake until the crust is deep golden, start checking after about 35 minutes. About half way through the baking time, dot the exposed filling with the tablespoon of butter, cut into small pieces. If you see any leaks, spoon or brush the leaked filling over the apples in the center.Remove the galette from the oven and cool completely before cutting. If you want to serve it warm (I do), re-heat the cut slices in an oven or microwave until warm to the touch. Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt is a nice accompaniment.This is a variation of a recipe in Jeremy Jackson’s dessert book.Vera Dawson lives in Summit County, where she bakes almost every day. Her recipes have been tested in her home kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude.
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